Yeah, I know the name is stupid... stay with me, ok?
I really like Mark Bittman. I like what's he's done for food & cooking and while his newest ultra-health kick (and book) doesn't really speak to me, I'm a fan of his New York Times blog and that's where I came across this sorta recipe-slash-cooking method.
Dinner For One: Pasotto
Ok, so Bittman didn't come up with the silly name - that's all me. He calls it "Pasta with Chicken and Mushrooms, Risotto Style"... but that was a real mouthful & I left out the chicken so I really wanted to highlight the technique, not the ingredient list... you get the idea. Though the truth is, it doesn't matter what you call it - this stuff is pretty delish.
What you need:
1/2 lb. dried pasta, any short shape (I used Campenelle - short, wide noodles with frilly edges)
28oz. chicken or vegetable broth (you won't use all of it)
4-5 small portobello mushrooms, chopped (or any kind you like)
large shallot, minced
large garlic clove, minced
parmesan cheese & fresh herbs (optional)
How you make it:
Bittman has posted a short video which I highly recommend watching, but here's the synopsis... you're using the basic risotto method. Heat a swirl of olive oil & a pat of butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add shallot & garlic and cook until soft & translucent. Add mushrooms and cook 2-3 minutes until softened. Add dried pasta & stir to coat in the oil/butter mixture. Add broth until the pasta is barely covered, cook over medium-low heat adding more broth as it gets absorbed into the noodles. When the pasta is cooked through and the remaining broth has reduced down to a thick sauce - it's ready. Add salt, pepper, cheese & herbs to taste.